December 1, 2022


The Education People

Paralyzed worker, supporters phone on CPS to let preserve working at Byrne elementary

Judy Mahoney’s daily life transformed endlessly four many years ago when a motor vehicle crash with a drunken driver still left her paralyzed from the waistline down.

One particular point that did not adjust was her potential to operate as a school clerk, working as the glue that retains a school working efficiently by encouraging with every thing from trying to keep tabs on attendance to answering phones and greeting parents.

Whittier Elementary in Pilsen, the place she’d worked for additional than two many years, was not wheelchair obtainable. So she was hired at Byrne Elementary in Garfield Ridge on the Southwest Side, exactly where she’s been for earlier 3 a long time.

Funding for the place was temporary and was set to expire in June, leaving Mahoney with out a task.

Mahoney, 49, had been explained to she can implement for a work at a universities operated by Chicago Community Universities.

On Tuesday, Mahoney collected with Byrne moms and dads and other supporters, together with fellow customers of the Chicago Academics Union, to urge CPS management to allow her to continue to be at Byrne permanently.

“I want to convey to CPS to make sure you do the suitable thing,” Mahoney reported. “I’ve been begging for this 12 months immediately after yr following calendar year in silence. I did not want this to get to this position, but it is my existence at stake, my livelihood. I had no way out. I’m fatigued, I’m drained …. This was my final vacation resort.”

Shortly ahead of noon Tuesday, CPS spokesman James Gherardi claimed in an emailed statement that CPS leadership was fully commited to operating with Mahoney “to find a new situation at yet another university that fulfills her desires.”

About four several hours afterwards, Gherardi sent an additional email that confirmed CPS management experienced modified class.

“District officials reassured Ms. Mahoney now that her position at Byrne will be extended by way of subsequent college calendar year if the out there roles we have discovered at other obtainable universities do not get the job done out,” Gherardi claimed.

“Chicago General public Educational facilities is dedicated to ensuring that staff members who have to have lodging have access to the perform environments they will need to conduct their obligations,” Gherardi explained.

Mahoney was happy CPS assured her she’d have a occupation subsequent calendar year, but she was dissatisfied it was not a permanent give.

She’s considering what to do next.

“It’s a welcome conclusion but it’s not plenty of,” she stated.

“I’m again to sq. 1. Yet another temporary posture. It does not remedy the difficulty, it places a Band-Support on it.”

Members of the Byrne university community on Tuesday expressed guidance for Mahoney.

“Judy’s commitment is really inspirational to all. She is a living, respiration, interactive lesson of positivity for all of our pupils,” claimed Samantha Soukal, a trainer at Byrne.

Sarah Sachen, a Byrne guardian, explained the university is “so grateful and blessed to have her” and reducing her posture would be “a large slip-up.”

Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) also expressed her guidance.

“There is definitely no justification in the environment that would reveal the complete and utter disregard and absence of empathy shown by CPS to Judy. … It is considerably concerning to me that the persons who made the selection to deal with Judy this way are also the very same people who are producing conclusions on behalf of the kids of the metropolis of Chicago.”